Several leaders of the alliance have communicated that may not be able to make it to the December 6 meeting in Delhi
New Delhi: The knives are out among the INDIA block constituents after the Congress’ disastrous performance at the hustings in the three important states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Several leaders of the alliance, including Trinamul Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, have communicated that may not be able to make it to the December 6 meeting at the Delhi residence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav responded to the Congress defeats by suggesting that regional parties must lead the fight against the BJP in areas they hold sway in.
The Congress lost the polls, in part, due to the lack of a seat-sharing arrangements with other INDIA members, Banerjee said on Monday, stressing that it was a “defeat of the Congress, not the people.”
“The Congress has won Telangana. They would have won Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Some votes were cut by INDIA parties. This is the truth. We had suggested a seat-sharing arrangement. They lost because of the division of votes," Banerjee said in an address to the Assembly in Kolkata.
“Along with ideology, you need to have a strategy,” she said, adding: “If there is a seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP will not come to power in 2024.”
In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress was in talks with Akhilesh Yadav’s party, but the talks fell apart over seat-sharing. At one point, Kamal Nath, who was leading the Congress’ campaign, dismissed a media query on the alliance talks, saying: “Chhoro Akhilesh Vakhilesh.”
Janata Dal (United)’s K.C. Tyagi said, the Congress “ignored other INDIA parties, but was unable to win on its own”. Kerala Chief Minister and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan said it was necessary to fight together while taking on the BJP in the Hindi heartland.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut said the outcome of the Madhya Pradesh polls would have been different had the Congress shared some seats with other constituents of the INDIA bloc.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said: “All will have to be accommodated and we will have to move forward.” Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha also said the results will not impact the alliance. “These were state polls. These should be left behind. National elections will be held on different issues. It (Assembly poll results) will not have any impact, everyone will have to understand the unity of the INDIA bloc... There is no contradiction,” he said.
The Congress strategy group also met at the residence of CPP chairperson Sonia Gandhi to chalk out the party’s strategy during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.